A full bench of the Madras High Court bench on Friday ruled that the validity of equivalence certificate for a university course cannot be considered with prospective effect in terms of a candidate’s eligibility for employment.
The bench comprising Justices M. Jaichandren, M. Venugopal and T. Raja also ruled that a division bench’s judgment, which held that the equivalence certificate will only have prospective effect, is ‘incorrect.’ A batch of petitions were filed by candidates who were denied appointments as graduate teachers for English by the Teachers Recruitment Board (TRB) on the ground that the equivalence certificate issued declaring the B.A. (English and Communication) degree offered by the Tamil Nadu Open University (TNOU) was equivalent to B.A. (English) by any other university only with prospective effect. The TRB had denied them appointments because they had obtained their degrees prior to the issuance of the equivalence certificates, the petitioners claimed.
“At the very outset, we may mention that once the certificate obtained by the candidates are considered and declared as equivalent by issuance of a Government Order (G.O.), the validity of the degree obtained prior to the issuance of the G.O. cannot be considered as prospective only,” the judges observed.
The judges also pointed out that neither the equivalence committee nor the government has mentioned that the courses will be considered equivalent with prospective effect. “When both the equivalence committee and the G.O. have not mentioned the effect of the validity of the degree, it is not proper to hold it prospective by any one,” the judges noted.